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Charles Dickens's The Signalman and H.G Well's The Red Room are two of the most famous Ghost stories ever written. But what are the reasons that these stories have remained so popular?

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Introduction

Charles Dickens's The Signalman and H.G Well's The Red Room are two of the most famous Ghost stories ever written. But what are the reasons that these stories have remained so popular? 'The Signalman' was first published in 1866 in the Victorian times when Queen Victoria reigned. At the time the railway was a new thing to the community. Charles Dickens got inspiration for this story when he was a victim in a horrible train crash which he managed to luckily survive. The story is set on a railway which was really grim and dark which gave a ghost like feel to this story. 'The Signalman' is about an isolated railwayman who is in charge of a lonely signal box and the fact that he thinks he is seeing an apparition, a Ghost. ...read more.

Middle

The narrator fist sees the signalman when he's on top of the cutting "down in the deep trench" which suggests that there's something dark and mysterious about the railway. The narrator tells us that the signalman had been a student of "natural philosophy" and had attended lectures. But this is odd and mysterious because if he was well educated why would he be stuck with the job as a signalman. However Dickens tells us that the signalman "he had run wild' misused his opportunities, gone down and never risen again" so that explains why he is doing the job at all. One of Dickens's ideas is to show the anxiety that comes from being controlled by something that isn't human - which was what happened once industrialisation became common. In this extract it tell us how dedicated the signalman is to his job this shows that he is very reliable, and we see this because the narrator calls him vigilant and exact. ...read more.

Conclusion

The difference between the two narrators is that in 'The Signal Man' the narrator never has any encounters with any super natural goings on unlike in 'The Red Room' the narrator has many encounters which in the end drives him to leave Loraine Castle. The focus in 'The Red Room' is on the narrator and the things that go on in the room. Such as ghostly shadows and strange noise and the change in temperature in the room. Although throughout the story you don't hear or read about any apparitions appearing but you still get that ghostly feeling from what happens in the story and how it is all explained. A big difference between 'The Red Room' and 'The Signal Man' is that 'The Red Room' is set inside which has a claustrophobic feel unlike 'The Signal Man' which is set outside which you don't normally associate with ghostly goings on especially being on a rail way. Jermaine Wilson ...read more.

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